132 – Dos de Mayo / Almost Free

Today marks 212 years since Madrid’s uprising against Napoleonic occupation and under normal circumstances there would be a big party in Malasaña, the part of town where I live, and where the rebellion started in 1808. Festivities were cancelled this year, but today remains special nonetheless, as we were finally released, if cautiously, from our 8-weeks-long strict lockdown. Whoever thought of this exact modality of easing the confinement is either a sadistic idiot, or someone who hasn’t worked a single day of their life, but career politicians are known to have scarce experience of actual work.  As of this morning, adults are allowed to walk or practice sport between 6 am and 10 am (which is doable on the weekends, but those of us lucky enough to still have a job are essentially fucked the rest of the week).

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Malasaña, 6.30 am

Now, as stupidity and capacity to come up with idiotic inventions are boundless, it gets better. While elsewhere in the country public parks and gardens are reopening, the Capital keeps their green areas locked, because they “fear gatherings”. Casa de Campo, one of the 5 enormous parks, spreads over 17 square kilometres. It’s a former hunting reserve. Apart from the part adjacent to the parking lot where all the restaurants are, it’s more or less deserted on a normal day. On the other hand, Madrid’s junta is led by a party that was elected solely on the promise they would reverse the order banning cars from the city centre (initiative promptly blocked by the Supreme Court, at least someone still uses their brains in this town), so I shouldn’t really be surprised. Last time those people went to Casa de Campo to engage in any kind of  physical activity must have been when the park was still a dominion of the ladies of the night. Maybe it used to get crowded. Or maybe they think it’s still the only reason anyone would go there. Be it as it may, the ladies and gentlemen of the council somehow fear people would get too close to each other on 17 sqkm of forest, while this phenomenon strangely would not occur when the same people are forced into the narrow streets of the city centre. In fact not all that narrow Castellana looked like May Day Parade this morning.

In any case. The 15 km walk (a loop to the four tower and back) this morning was well worth the 6 am alarm. Hence the fastest entry in the history of this blog. In 1808 the Second of May Uprising was suppressed and a strict curfew followed. Let’s hope it goes better this time.


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